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Pauline earns P2M with Taiwan win

Pauline del Rosario became the first Filipina to win on the lucrative Taiwan LPGA Tour, claiming the TLPGA and Royal Open crown in style on a closing six-under 66 at the Royal Kuan-His Golf Club in Hsinchu County, Taiwan last Sunday.

The 18-year-old rallied charged back from seven down in the final round on a sizzling backside rally, finishing with a pair of 33s and nipping Taiwan OOM leader Yu Ju Chen by one on a 12-under 204 aggregate.

“I never expected to win at all. I didn’t have any time for practice and just slept two hours and then it was game time,” said the ICTSI-backed pro who has racked up a number of titles here and abroad as an amateur.

Chen slugged it out with Del Rosario in the last 18 holes, keeping a one-stroke lead by matching the Filipina’s 33 at the turn. But Del Rosario rattled off three straight birdies from No. 10 to grab the lead, fell into a tie with a bogey against Chen’s birdie on No. 14 but gunned down a clutch birdie from eight feet on No. 16 to edge Chen, who finished with a 68-205, by one.

Taiwan amateur Yu Sang Hou actually seized control with a solid 63 in the second round and took a huge lead heading to the final round but crumbled when the pressure got tough and skied to a 76, ending up fourth at 207 behind Thai Dusawi Soopimjit, who shot a 67 for a 206.

“Though I was down by 7 in the second round against an amateur, I was more worried with the Taiwanese and the Thai pros since they are the top players in the field,” added Del Rosario.

Del Rosario pocketed NT$1,200,000 (R2 million) for her feat that further enhanced a promising young pro career she launched earlier this year with a pair of runner-up finishes and a third place effort on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour before scoring back-to-back victories at Orchard and Baguio.